Posts Tagged ‘Kit’

Kit guitar finished! (for the most part)

So I decided to wrap up this guitar finally. Christmas is coming and I figured what better time to deliver a gift to someone?

I gotta say that I am not totally pleased with my finishing job. The shellac that I used had very strange characteristics when I was sanding. Also, I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with the sandpaper that I was using, I don’t really know why.

Also, the setup is a bit wonky. The string spacing is waaaaaay too high, I tried to counter it by messing with the truss rod. That didn’t get me anywhere. So I just sanded down the saddle more, it helped.

The guitar has a fair amount of settling to do. It is still making creaking and popping noises. Hopefully they will stop in time.

Anyway, that is enough trash talking this guitar. Now for the pics.

Copious amounts of… shellac.

I wanted to show the pictures first in this post so you could see the progression of the top finish. I am using shellac from ColorTone. Initially, I was waiting on the funds to order my Z-poxy (more on that next post) but then I realized that the top doesn’t really need any pore filling.

Apparently there are different “cuts” to the shellac that you need to be aware of. 1 pound cut, 2 pound cut, etc. etc.

From what I’ve learned (and I don’t know much) is that you need to start off your base coats with a fairly low cut (thin mix). So I dumped some shellac flakes in my container, poured in a bunch of alcohol and waited. I had to play around a lot with the mixes because the shellac doesn’t dissolve very well and I kept getting chunks. This probably means it was way too thick, so I kept adding more alcohol.

When I got to a fairly thin mix, I started applying the shellac to the top. My first impressions weren’t good. The shellac was dull, clearly not coating well, and overall very underwhelming. I figured I would keep trying, I could always just sand it away if it didn’t work. So I added a few more coats. It wasn’t getting any better. I decided to call it a night.

The next day I made a thicker cut and applied the shellac liberally. After it dried I started to see some results. Then I remember that the very idea of shellac is a slow buildup of finish. Duh!

So my routine was add 2 or 3 coats of shellac and let it sit for a day. After sitting for a day, I would either add more shellac or sand it flush, depending on what I saw.

That’s where I am currently. Hopefully I’ll post an update on it in a week or so.

Headstock design

I got a preliminary headstock design done. It didn’t take very long to design, which I am surprised. I only did about a page of sketching. Immediately I started hacking into the headstock of the kit guitar, I like how it turned out. It doesn’t leave a lot of space for a fancy inlay or logo, but I think its pretty unique.

Who knows, I may change it again later.

Headstock design

on the guitar.

On guitar.


My first guitar (kit) Day 5 (the last day!)

This is the last day of the class. The guitar is now playable and sounds pretty decent. The neck still needs to be shaped and quit a bit of setup needs to be done. After that, i have to final sand it and figure out what sort of finished i am going to put on it.

Hopefully the next post i make will be a post about my next guitar!

My first guitar (kit) Day 4

Almost done!

Today we scraped the @#&$ out of our binding! I did a pretty decent job of keeping glue off the wood part of the guitar, so I didn’t have a ton of work to do. We scraped and scraped, and when we were sick of scraping, we scraped some more. We drilled pilot holes for our tuners machines. After scraping, we sanded down the glue and gunk on the soundboard. Somewhere in there we put the side markers in the pre-drilled holes. We sanded and fitted our bridge and saddle. After that we used the supplied jig to set the location of the bridge. Next, we drilled holes for the bridge clamp and glued the bridge on.

That was pretty much it! Now for pics.

Next week is the last week. We’ll fret the fingerboard, install the tuning machines and string it up!

My first guitar (kit) Day 3

I am starting to notice a pattern. Every time I come home from my guitar class, I am sore! Making a guitar is rough on your body, especially your hands and fingers.

Today was day 3 of my guitar making class! A summed up version of what we did is:

-Fine tuned fretboard straightness
-Glued in Ablam inlay on fretboard
-Final polish of fretboard
-Routed channels for binding and purfling
-Glued in binding and purfling

Now for the pictures!

Arg, since seperating out the site, I’ve been wrestling with it right and left. I finally got the pictures working, but I dont feel like re-captioning all of them. So you’ll just have to settle for semi-pretty pictures with no explanation.


My first guitar (kit) Day 2

So as soon as I got into the shop today, I got started. I started by routing the neck tenon channel from the soundboard. This was done with a router and a small flush cut bit.

Next was to dry fit the neck to the body. My guitar needed some shimming, two shims got it just about right but was low in a few spots. So I added a new shim and just used a block plane to take down the material on the top.

I radiused the fretboard next. I don’t have any pictures of that, but what a mess! It’s a ton of work and I was coughing up rosewood snot for a few hours after the class. It’s quite a bit of work, but I ended up with a good looking fretboard. After that, I flipped the fretboard over onto a flat piece of sandpaper and made the back of the fretboard flush for gluing to the neck.

Next up was to ream the tuner holes. The holes were already drilled in the headstock, but i had to ream them out so that the tuners would fit correctly. This also was a long, strenuous process.

Last for the day was to glue the fretboard to the neck. One picture is of the dry fit and measuring, the next picture is of it clamped onto the neck.

Now for the pictures!

Until next week!


My first guitar (kit)

So I started my first guitar today. It’s a kit build from

The kit is like 75% finished already. All you really have to do is shape the soundboard braces, cut the kerfing, glue on the soundboard and assemble the neck. Today I got all the way through glueing the soundboard.

It’s a standard dreadnought guitar. It has a spruce top and sapele back and sides.

Now for some pictures.

So far so good! I’m enjoying the class so far and I really look forward to the knowledge that I get from it.

Next step is to get a garage somehow so I have someplace to do this on my own!


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Bailie Guitars Blog

Greetings! This is a blog about my adventures in building guitars. I hope you enjoy!